6 questions to ask your marketing team

As a business owner, what are the key questions you should be asking those responsible for your marketing? What should you ask to get a better understanding on how marketing is contributing to the success of your business?

1 – How are we measuring the performance of our activities?
Show me the results. How many leads or sales were generated from each marketing campaign and how were they were tracked. If the question can’t be answered because the tracking is non existent or isn’t accurate, you can’t be confident that your campaign was a success.

2 – Who are we targeting in our marketing?
Sales and marketing go hand in hand as marketing leads to sales. If your marketing audience e.g. visitors to your website or your followers on social media are different from your target customers then your efforts may be wasted and you will be missing opportunities to reach out to future clients.

3 – How are we retaining existing customers?
Many marketing strategies focus on gaining new customers at the expense of keeping existing ones. Both are important, but keeping current customers engaged with the business is just as essential as building new clients in order to generate sales for the business.

4 – Who are our top customers?
How are you identifying the customers that drive the most profit for the business. How do you rank them and how impactful are they for the business? You want to find out which individuals or groups drive an outsized portion of your business results. When you can look at a single list and see your main customers you have the power to identify the unique characteristics of this group and work hard to attract more.

5 – What should we stop doing?
It’s far to easy to get into a marketing routine and do things just because you’ve done them in the past. By reviewing data and challenging your marketing efforts it is possible to identify those things you should stop doing and those efforts you should do more of to provide a greater return to your business.

6 – What metrics are we monitoring to measure success?
There are so many different metrics that you can measure. The rule when deciding what to measure is:
• Does this metric help me make a decision?
• When I view this metric does it help me understand how to get closer to my business goals?
• If you answer ‘No’ to both questions you are looking at a vanity metric and need to ignore it and repeat steps to identify better metrics to monitor.

About the author

Richard Milton is founder of e-nexus Ltd – a Marketing Consultancy based in Bournemouth specialising in Strategic Marketing Planning and Performance Measurement. He is a career long marketer, holding numerous senior marketing positions throughout his 20 years in the profession. Describing himself as a marketing strategist, performance and measurement specialist, Richard spends time working with business owners, managers and marketers to help them improve their marketing decisions, investments and impact by harnessing the power of data and insights alongside his strategic experience.

Richard’s biggest passion is to help marketers show the value of their efforts and give them the confidence and skills to be able to share the story with their senior managers. Richard helps organisations understand the importance of measurement and metrics as well as appreciate the breadth of data available to them in todays marketing world.

You can read more from Richard at his measure4success blog at http://www.measure4success.wordpress.com.  To find out more about e-nexus visit http://www.e-nexus.co.uk

Social media: Let’s focus on engagement

How important is fan growth to you and your organisation. Is it still the top priority, the right priority and the key metric you report back on?

If you want your followers or like count to increase you can if you wish pretty much buy them. But you’re likely buying bulk likes from people who don’t even have any interest in your brand or product. So why bother?

At e-nexus we believe that fan growth doesn’t matter if your audience isn’t engaging with your content. You can have as many followers as you like but if what you post gets no engagement, your followers have very little value for you, your organisation or your brand.

Focus on engagement rather than the number of followers

Whatever your social media objective, engagement is a far more important and useful metric. For example the level of engagement influences the probability of and the numbers of your audience who will see (referred to as reach) your content in their news feeds.

One important example of engagement is shares. Shares influence how many people see your posts.  Recent changes to Facebook News Feeds prioritise content that comes from family and friends over content posted by fan pages. Therefore it is essential to create content that your audiences will want to share with their own networks.

Another critical but currently often neglected component is reactions. Facebook has updated its news feed algorithm again, this time with an emphasis on your audiences use of ‘reactions’. The social network now prioritises reactions over “likes” when ranking your News Feed. According to the company, a reaction is a stronger indicator that you want to see similar posts to ones you like.

Monitor others

Don’t forget to monitor the social media engagement that your competitors are gaining as this can provide a useful benchmark over your social posts performance. Don’t just look at the posts but aim to delve deeper by splitting the monitoring of both organic and paid posts. If your competitors out perform you on their organic posts then it would suggest that their content resonates well with their audiences thus boosting their reach for ‘free’.

For more ideas on how to transform your marketing visit our e-nexus blog at www.measure4success.wordpress.com or visit our website at www.e-nexus.co.uk

Data, what data?

The digital revolution means that you can now access more data and insight than ever before to understand the impact of your marketing. With so much being available for free and at a click of a button there are now real opportunities for you to better measure your marketing.

Through our day to day work we still support companies that feel they have no or very little data or insight. For many of these businesses we go on a journey of discovery, helping them to think about their needs. We work with them to identify what data and insight they actually have, what they need as well as how it can be captured and stored – and yes at times that includes uncovering all the data and insight stored in numerous note books, diaries, excel spreadsheets, business card holders and even their own heads.

So if you think you are marketing data and insight poor or want to better measure the performance of your marketing consider some of the following to build your knowledge and understanding:

• Website analytics – many websites have some form of analytics platform linked to them so you can understand where your visitors are coming from and how they interact with your site.

• Social media analytics – these will tell you a lot about the types and levels of engagement you are receiving from your posts. Platforms like Facebook will also give you some demographic data so you can be sure you are reaching the correct people.

• Email – platforms like Mailchimp will tell you how many people open your emails, how high or low your bounce rates are and your click through rate to your website. If you A/B test your emails you’ll also get a much clearer idea of what type of content or subject headlines work better with your audience.

• Voice of the customer – such things as feedback from your customers as well as interviews and survey ratings will give you a clear view of what they think of your product offering or service levels.

• Competitive intelligence – It’s important to monitor the performance of others. For example monitoring the social media engagement that your competitors are gaining can be a useful benchmark for the performance of your own social posts.

• Sales data – understanding what and how frequently your customers are buying from you is key. What channels are they reaching you to make that purchase – is it via your website, retail outlet or exhibition stand?

• Customer churn rate – establish how many customers are cutting ties with you over a given time. Monitoring your churn rate is the first step in understanding how good you are at retaining customers and identifying what actions might result in a higher retention rate.

• Your top customers – sounds simple but identify which customers drive the most profit your business. When you can look at a single list and see your main customers you have the power to identify the unique characteristics of this group and work on attracting more.

• Cost of acquisition – calculate how much you spend in acquiring leads and turning these leads into new clients. How does that differ using different channels? The key here is that the fees you charge need to at least cover your associate costs.

• And finally conversations with customers – always a great place to start

Need some help on where to start with your data and insight gathering?

At e-nexus we undertake marketing audits where we’ll work with you to identify your data and insight needs, what you already have access to and how you can begin to fill the gaps. Just email us at info@e-nexus.co.uk and we’ll organise a time to meet.

Use Web Analytics to grow your business

There are numerous web analytics management platforms out there for you to use to monitor the performance of your website. Through them you can see where your website traffic is coming from, how many visitors you get, where they are going, and through which channels e.g. search, social and advertising they found your site.

One of the most popular is Google Analytics, used by many organisations to monitor and measure the impact of their website and other parts of their marketing mix. Here are just some of our top reasons why we at e-nexus think you should add Google Analytics or a similar system to your website and most importantly use the insight gained to boost your marketing.

• It provides key insights that can help you shape the strategy of your business.

• It’s easy to use. New users can quite easily grasp the basic principles of Google Analytics such as goals, conversions, visits, referrals etc.

• It’s free – Google doesn’t charge you for using this tool.

• Google Analytics is key when trying to understand where your website visitors are coming from. You’ll be much better able to see who they are and what they want.

• It will enable you to determine the impact of your related marketing activities outside of your website. Set up correctly you’ll have a huge amount of data around which adverting campaign or social media platform is working best for you.

• It provides real-time tracking. You can see who is visiting your website right now! This means that you will know amongst other things how many active users are on your site, which pages they’re looking at and where they are from.

• Automated data collection. Once you set up your account and copy a simple piece of code onto your site, Google Analytics will start collecting the data automatically. You can access a wide range of reports immediately whether they be set up by Google Analytics or custom reports created by yourself.

• Extensive help is available online. If you are a first-time user, Google’s documentation and videos on Youtube can help you get started quickly.

Google Analytics and tools like it can do wonders for your business. They provide you with easily accessible insights that can be used to improve the performance of your website and other areas of your marketing mix. Get set up and use the knowledge to enhance your marketing efforts.

Want to learn more?

For further tips and hints on how to connect data and insight to enhance your marketing impact visit our e-nexus blog at http://www.measure4success.wordpress.com

In addition we are running an e-nexus marketing evening seminar on 11th June in Southbourne, Bournemouth focused on web analytics.  Find out more and book your place by visiting our Eventbrite page.  Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.